Advanced Energy Perspectives

Ryan Katofsky

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How Do You Spell the Future of Net Metering? Maybe like this: LMP+D

Posted by Ryan Katofsky

May 13, 2016 7:26:41 AM

Distributed_Solar_Power-781012-edited.jpg

There are lot of hot topics in energy these days, but perhaps none more so than net energy metering (NEM). This simple rate design allows customers with onsite generation (usually rooftop solar, but also other technologies, like fuel cells and small wind systems) to send excess electricity onto the grid and spin their meters backwards. At the end of the month, the customer receives either a bill or a credit, depending on whether there was net excess generation in that month. This makes owners of distributed generation happy - and makes utilities nervous.

Although NEM clearly sets out what distributed generation (DG) customers get paid for their electricity, it does not fully answer the question of what that DG is worth, not only to that customer but to all the other customers who depend on the grid. That’s exactly what New York’s Public Service Commission asked for comment on in the latest round of filings under its “Reforming the Energy Vision” proceeding. In response, AEE Institute, and its state and regional partners engaged in that proceeding, submitted a proposal for setting the balance between deploying distributed energy resources (DER) and maintaining the grid for all. What’s the not-so-secret formula? LMP+D. For what that means, read on.  

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Topics: State Policy Update, 21st Century Electricity System

New York Gets into the Details of a New Business Model for Utilities

Posted by Ryan Katofsky

Nov 5, 2015 5:29:40 PM

 

A little over a year ago, in an update on New York’s groundbreaking Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) proceeding, we wrote that the “devil is in the details.” Today, we have a lot more details. In late July, the Public Service Commission issued its “Staff White Paper on Ratemaking and Utility Business Models.” As the title suggests, this document makes initial proposals to change how utilities make money (the business models) and how they would charge customers to reward certain behaviors and discourage others (ratemaking). As with other participants in the proceeding, we have spent the past three months poring over this White Paper and thinking through the benefits and risks to advanced energy companies of its various provisions. Although the details are still devilish, the REV vision of a dynamic electric power system built around energy efficiency, onsite solar and wind, energy storage, cogeneration and microgrids, and other distributed resources, rather than a static, one-way system of central power plants, poles, and wires, continues to look bright for advanced energy.

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Topics: State Policy Update, 21st Century Electricity System

A New Approach to Valuing the Benefits and Costs of Distributed Energy Resources

Posted by Ryan Katofsky

Sep 25, 2014 11:08:00 AM

NASA-nycIn a recent post, we updated you on the status of the “Reforming the Energy Vision” (REV) proceeding in New York State, through which the Public Service Commission (PSC) is seeking to fundamentally reshape the electricity sector to meet a range of challenges, including the need to replace aging infrastructure, make the system more resilient, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Tackled separately, addressing each of these needs would impose new costs that would lead to higher rates for customers and put at risk a basic tenet of utility regulation: provision of safe and reliable electricity at just and reasonable rates. At the same time, electricity sales in New York are flat to declining (due in part to increasing levels of efficiency and wider deployment of customer-sited solar), which limits the revenue growth available to utilities with which to finance modernization of the grid, unless rates go up.

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Topics: 21st Century Electricity System

LEDs: Advanced Energy Lighting Approaching Take Off

Posted by Ryan Katofsky

Jun 24, 2013 4:44:00 PM

LED lighting

The incandescent bulb has had a good run and compact fluorescents (CFLs) have improved dramatically in cost and performance since I bought my first one in 1993. But bulbs using light emitting diode technology (LEDs) are currently transforming the lighting market. It is a classic example of a technology that started out in niche, high-value markets, and over time has improved in cost and performance to the point that it is now poised to take over in much larger markets. 

In “Economic Impacts of Advanced Energy,” energy-efficient lighting was shown to be one of the fastest growing segments of the advanced energy market, driven in part by the dramatic improvements in LEDs. In their latest forecast, Navigant Research projects that annual worldwide revenue from LED lamps will grow from just over $1.5 billion in 2013, to more than $8.5 billion in 2021. That squares with a recent LinkedIn survey of energy professionals by AEE, in which LEDs ranked first as the technology people most expect to “take off” in 2013, with 28% of the vote, almost twice that of the next highest vote-getter. (Click below to get the full results of the survey.)

 

Download the full LinkedIn survey results

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Advanced Energy Perspectives is AEE's blog presenting news, analysis, and commentary on creating an advanced energy economy. Join the conversation!

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